Valley resident makes record lamb purchase |

Valley resident makes record lamb purchase

Record Courier Staff Reports

Gardnerville native Ken Hellwinkel paid the record price for a grand champion lamb at the 2007 Nevada Junior Livestock Show & Sale.

The lamb was raised by Lovelock teenager Amanda Holland, who Ken said was quite shocked when she learned her 139-pound lamb sold for $5,615 plus fees.

“It was the record price every paid,” Ken said. “This girl could not comprehend the price. She sat down next to me and thanked me. It was a great surprise for her.”

After completing the purchase, Ken donated the lamb back to the show in memory of his wife.

Victoria Hellwinkel died Jan. 22 after spending years in support of the livestock show. Her children, Francis and Ken Jr. raised and showed their animals at the livestock show and she prepared a remembrance for the show’s 50th anniversary.

“There was a big round of applause when it was announced I was donating the lamb,” he said. “I knew a lot of the people there.

Ken said he was assisted by Larissa Works in the sale.

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I’ve located the source of all the letters backing the Beverly Hillbillies Casino and Mansion. I found a request from Max Baer Jr. for support from folks on his Web site

The site includes links to both The R-C and the Nevada Appeal and pretty much lists my requirements for a letter to the editor. There’s nothing telling people what to say, so I’m not sure you could call it a letter writing campaign. I’m not going to print all of them, but there are enough to get the point across that Mr. Baer has his supporters.

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How you going to keep them selling manure after they’ve been on David Letterman?

That’s the question I’ve been answering all week after The Record-Courier’s item about the Lions Annual Garage and Manure Sale appeared on Letterman’s Hometown News segment Monday.

There’s a clip of the show allegedly wandering around, but I haven’t seen it yet. Pity Dave didn’t get it on earlier so the Lions could get a little extra boost.

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Over the years I’ve resisted the urge to write too much about my pets. There is a tendency among newspaper columnists to focus on their lives and those associated with them. That’s because we’re taught to write about what we know.

So when R-C Kitty, who my wife Jennifer managed to lure into the old Record-Courier as a kitten using Chinese food, died at age 14, I didn’t share that with our readers. After all, I doubt R-C would have written my eulogy, and that arrangement suited us both just fine.

But our dog Aurora would have been happy to write my eulogy, if only she had opposable thumbs and could type, or read.

Aurora was 6 weeks old when we adopted her from the Douglas County Animal Shelter in the winter of 1994. Jennifer put our name in after seeing her in the pet of the week photo, which appeared Feb. 6, 1994. We weren’t the only ones who were interested. Kay Dupuis put her name in first, but had to pass. So we got to bring Aurora home.

Aurora grew up in Genoa, where she was the terror of magpies and squirrels. A well-travelled dog, Aurora got to sniff most of Nevada during her life. She visited Hot Creek with us and crossed the state line in the shadow of Boundary Peak. She’s been all the way across Nevada, Utah and into Colorado, where we stayed on the Grand Mesa. And of course she was a welcome visitor at my parents’ place in Las Vegas.

She was diagnosed with cancer about three years ago while we were in Dayton. It was removed, but we were told she would last another six months at best. Not long after, we moved back to Genoa, where she got a chance to run and play and drink fresh stream water. She must have benefited from the Valley’s curative powers, because she lasted much longer than expected.

She died on Tuesday and was buried in the family pet plot near R-C Kitty, who raised her and Merlins 1 and 2 among others.

Aurora was just a dog, but she was also a good friend and a member of our family and she will be missed.

— Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at or 782-5121, ext. 215.